Louisa Brown, 67 years of age, died this date, June 8th of Dropsy* and was buried at Bethel Burying Ground. According to the 1847 African American Census, she worked as a domestic and was not born into slavery. Mrs. Brown lived with her husband Marcus at #6 Bonsall Street below 10th Street. The address is now in the 900 block of Rodman Street, which is between South Street and Lombard streets.
Marcus Brown was well known to the Bethel Church community. He became a close friend of Reverend, later AME bishop, Morris Brown (no relation). They came north together in 1822-23 from Charleston, South Carolina after both were implicated in the Denmark Vesey revolt.**
Marcus Brown was born in African, kidnapped and enslaved in Charleston, South Carolina. His freedom was purchased, with the assistance of Rev. Brown, for $700 according to the 1847 African American Census. Once in Philadelphia Marcus was permitted to preacher under the supervision of Morris Brown.
He was perfectly illiterate, and could not utter the simplest sentence in more than a plain exhortation, except when he was telling his experience, as he very often did. He was the most illiterate man that was permitted to occupy the pulpit of old Bethel. He was a local man to be sure, but he had an influence over his inferiors. He was a good man, [sic] and ended his career in peace.***
Marcus Brown died the same year as his wife according to Bishop Payne. I can find no official record of his death. I would presume that he would also be buried at Bethel Burying Ground next to Louisa.
*An old term for the swelling of soft tissues due to the accumulation of excess water. Today one would be more descriptive and specify the cause. Thus, the person might have edema due to congestive heart failure.
**A Will to Choose” The Origins of African American Methodism by J. Gordon Melton, p. 158 – 160.
***History of the AME Church by Daniel A. Payne, p. 317. (Available online at Google Books)